R M R Lenora stood in a snaking queue outside Sri Lanka’s Immigration and Emigration Department headquarters for two days last week, hoping to get a passport and, with it, a chance to leave a country wilting under an economic crisis.
A garment worker, 33-year-old Lenora decided to apply for a job as a maid in Kuwait after her husband was laid off from a small restaurant where he worked as a cook.
“My husband lost his job because there is no cooking gas and food costs have skyrocketed. It is very hard to find work and the salaries are very low,” said Lenora, who said she earns about 2,500 Sri Lanka rupees ($6.80) a day. “With two children that is impossible.”
So last week,…